I have a set of sensors at fixed locations across a landscape. Each is connected to an Arduino Uno board which is coupled to a WiFi board. New sensors get added occasionally and old ones stop working. I want to display the data gathered by each sensor, in (nearly) real-time, in QGIS, as a map of points with attributes displayed as (for example) colours of point symbols. The data value is read by each sensor every 15 minutes or so and thus I want to upload these values to QGIS and update my QGIS vector map of the sensor values at this interval.

The data themselves are very simple - a single real numerical value which I could convert and present as integer, ASCII text string, HTML, XML or pretty much anything else because I can convert them at the sensor end. Since I know the location of each sensor I can also include values of lat/long (for example) in the data each sensor URL presents to the world.

What's the very simplest way to get my data from the sensors onto a QGIS map which periodically gets the data and displays them?

  • Can you load your data into a postgresql database? Jun 19, 2017 at 15:48
  • Thanks for your comment.Yes I could. But I'm trying to keep things as simple as possible and this provides a whole host of functionality I don't need, at the expense of simplicity.
    – D.Jordan
    Jun 19, 2017 at 16:04

1 Answer 1


One possible solution is to save your data to a delimited text file (CSV) that you can periodically update/overwrite. Load this file in QGIS tell QGIS to watch it. See a similar but slightly different question here.

Checking the Watch file option will cause QGIS to watch the file for changes made by another application while QGIS is running (see documentation).

  • Thanks for your answer. I'd prefer to avoid the extra step if I can. Thus what I'm seeking to do is link each point vector location to a data value presented at the URL of each of my sensors - so the table of values in the QGIS vector file contains links which are addressed every 15 minutes or so to recover and plot new values, one from, each URL.
    – D.Jordan
    Jun 19, 2017 at 16:10
  • @D.Jordan I did this for wildfires was mentioned here using wget from a webservice but can be applied to sensors gis.stackexchange.com/questions/148812/…
    – Mapperz
    Jun 19, 2017 at 20:31

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